Young female artist with black hair holding paintbrush
Meet Coda Jade, part of our Celebrating Neighbourhood Good Project
Here at Westpoint we’re Celebrating Neighbourhood Good. We’re proud of our community, and the people working in it to help others. That’s why we’re sharing their stories with you.
Published 20 December

In the spirit of reconciliation, Westpoint acknowledges the Darug people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which Westpoint resides and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Here at Westpoint we’re celebrating Neighbourhood Good. We’re proud of our community, and the people working in it to help others. In our neighbourhood, people are creating positive change every day, making lives better, taking care of those in need and creating a place where we all feel safe and welcome. That’s why we’re sharing their stories with you - to show you that there is so much good in our community, and to say how proud we are to be a part of it. Because ours is a place for everyone, where our community comes together.

Coda is a Goreng Goreng woman who was born in Bundaberg and grew up on Darug land in Blacktown.  Since she was 13 months old, Coda has been enthralled with art. She remembers “when I was younger my parents would just give me a pen and paper, and I could just scribble for hours.” Coda always knew she wanted to be an artist as she has always approached painting and drawing with unweathering determination. Fast-forward to today and not only is Coda studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Darlinghurst, but she has also been awarded a scholarship.

Growing up, she reflects on the criticism she faced from people telling her “Don’t become an artist because you won’t make money.” After pushing through this doubt, she tells us that “you shouldn’t listen to people who limit your abilities, because if you want to do something you should just do it.” She elaborates, “if you’re determined enough to make it your job - you can do it.” Coda hopes to inspire those from the Blacktown community who may aspire to also become an artist or anything else they dream to be, that if they are passionate about what they do, they can make it. 

Recently Coda’s work ‘How the Birds Got Their Colours’ was displayed at Westpoint on Level 3. The piece is a captivating artwork that boasts colour and movement. When asked about the inspiration behind her painting, she explains that it was inspired by the traditional knowledge of the Bardi people of Western Australia in a book of the same name told by Mary Albert and compiled by Pamela Lofts. The book tells the Aboriginal Dreamtime story about a dove who hurt his foot and started bleeding everywhere, and all the other birds who tried helping the dove became colourless as a sign of the dreamtime. Once they helped, they were covered in the dove's rainbow blood, except for the crow as he didn’t help, he remained dark and had no colour. When she first saw her artwork displayed at Westpoint, she said “It felt amazing and surreal. Having my art on such a big scale was really crazy to me”. 

When asked about what inspires her art, Coda tells us she is inspired by “everything in the world - I can make a piece on anything. You could put me anywhere and I can make a piece on that, like walking down the street.” She says that “everything you see has a story; you can paint it.” 

Coda says the Blacktown community is a constant inspiration and influence for her work. One of her favourite parts of the Blacktown community is how the neighbourhood is filled with friendly, inspiring people who are super supportive. “They are interesting people, so it motivates you to do more interesting art”. That’s neighbourhood good.

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Published on 20 December, 2022